The July 27 Architecting Community and Collaboration Solutions event is about ordinary companies and organizations. The premise: We predict virtually every business (as well as every nonprofit, church,and political campaign) will expand their online web presence to incorporate at least one and probably several collaboration and community solutions in the next five years.
The panel are individuals from organizations that have already seen dramatic results and ROIs from being early adopters -- talking about how they made the decisions they made and crafted the solutions they crafted -- and the results they've seen.
The event is not about companies that are in the business of delivering community and collaboration functionality -- companies like:
- Social networks: LinkedIn, Friendster, Ryze, Orkut, Tribe.net, etc.
- Photo-sharing: Flickr
- Dating services: Match.com, LavaLife
- Invite services: Evite, Meetup.com
- Voting / group consensus software: Cloudmark (determines what's spam from user votes)
- Dedicated product review sites: ePinions
- Operating systems and browsers: Microsoft, Apple
But what of these companies in the business?
The continuing roll-out of functionality is the subject of John Markoff's June 29 column in the Times, "Web Content by and for the Masses."
The usefulness of user tagging is the topic. The article focuses on Yahoo's new "social search engine," which uses on a new page-ranking technology that Yahoo has named MyRank. Pages are ranked based on what other users in your social network found useful in their searches.
It also calls out:
- User tagging of photos on Flickr, of blogs for Technorati search, and of web pages for del.icio.us to categorize.
- A Google Earth feature that lets user communities annotate fly-over photos
- Similar Google Maps functionality that has let users overlay the Craigslist apartment rental and real estate listings, and the London subway system
- From Will Wright, creator of the Sims game series, a new one, Spore, that lets users create civilizations for others to explore
- Apple's delivery of RSS built into its most recent OS X release
- Microsoft's announcement it will follow suit
As exciting as those central services are, though, I think the real excitement is in how organizations are no longer just static advertising machines but are becoming home planets to constellations of customers, clients, constituents and members, by enabling them to communicate with the home port and with each other.
I'm looking forward to July 27 and a vision for how all of the organizations we care about can embrace the future.